What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder in which a person pauses breathing or produces shallow breathing. Pauses in breathing could be a little as a few seconds or longer as in a few minutes throughout the night. Many people attribute snoring exclusively to snoring though snoring may only be a symptom of restricted airflow and does not always indicate sleep apnea.
Types of apneas:
Sleep apnea can be either an obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or a central sleep apnea (CSA). Obstructive sleep apnea is where the flow of air into the lungs is blocked or interrupted. This could be due to a narrow airway, excessive tissue, crowded dental arches, relaxed tongue, and/or retrusive mandible (lower jaw).
Central sleep apnea is where a patient's brain is telling the patient to stop or slow their own breathing. These patients will need constant airway management to ensure proper breathing throughout the night.
How do I know if I have sleep apnea?
The best and most effective way to see if you have sleep apnea is to have a sleep study completed. These can be either completed using a home sleep test (HST) or within a medical sleep study room, typically at a local hospital.
Complications from untreated sleep apnea:
There may be a dental issue that is contributing to your sleep apnea. See the link below for more information!